Thursday, January 12, 2006

A couple of humorous tales...

When dealing with the public you can always run into a funny story and two things happened this week that made me chuckle.

When you are in the newspaper business people always want something for nothing. While some say any publicity is good publicity, around here the only good publicity is free publicity.

Monday morning the manager of one of our local banks called me up and wanted me to come take what is commonly referred to as a "grip and grin" photo. They were "making a donation to a charity" and if I wasn't busy he wanted me to come get a photo of them handing over the BIG check. I wasn't really into anything right then since nothing is going on in January because everyone is sitting still until their bank accounts get back into acceptable range after the Christmas hit.

I jumped in the truck and headed to this bank to meet up with everyone and I got there a little early. The bank manager comes out and greets me and is getting everything ready since the recipient of the check is running a little late.

He brings in the BIG check and set it up against a chair so he'll have it ready. This is one of those giant dry erase checks that everyone has seen before. They are like 4 feet wide and 2 feet tall or something like that, with the bank logos on them and all of that good stuff.

So I take a glance at the charity to which they are making the proud donation and then a glanced at the amount. Needless to say, I was bit surprised because banks, even small ones, can have as much as $100 million in assets and cash etc., and this particular bank was giving this very worthy charity $100.

I made a double take when I saw it. This bank has more than one branch in the county and all they could come up with was 100 bucks? And on top of that, they thought that this would be good publicity?

I realize that something is better than nothing, but I'm so strapped for cash right now I can barely breathe and I could have wiped off the big check and had the bank manager take my photo giving 100 bucks right then. So I got a good laugh out of that later.

The second funny thing that happened this week happened while at a basketball game. My editor and I went over to check out a local high school basketball game so we could get a photo or two. I love going to this venue because it's so big and no one sits on the floor. I can walk all around the court and get any photo I can dream of since there is probably 7 or 8 feet of wide open concrete floor around the actual hardwood court itself.

Unfortunately, cheerleaders were there and that sort of meant the endzones were kind of off limits, so I had to get into the corners. Anyway, my editor and I were chatting about the game as I snapped away some photos and there were a couple of guys watching the game in folding metal chairs on the floor.

Again, since I couldn't get into the endzone areas under the basket, we had worked our way around the court and we ended up blocking these guys' view which happened to be the place I needed to be in for the photo I actually got. While I'm working to get a photo one of them gets up and asks us to move because he can't see the game.

I kind of looked around and surveyed the empty seats and politely moved on since I'm used to people like that because they don't know any better and they just want to look important down on the floor anyway. What makes this funny is that he absolutely needed us to move because he couldn't watch the game from any other seat in that 5,000 seat arena we were in. But I guess we shouldn't put that kind of pressure on people like him because since there were probably 600+ people packed into that place, having to pick a single seat out of 4,400 seats is tough.

They all look so good.

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